Sainz Jr. plays down 18-inch tire test crash reports

(GMM) Carlos Sainz has played down reports that he crashed last week whilst testing Ferrari’s new-for-2022 18-inch tires.

Eyewitnesses claimed that Ferrari’s new Spanish driver crashed during the Pirelli test at Jerez – having logged 110 laps.

“I don’t know how much I can say about that according to the contract,” Sainz is quoted by the Swiss newspaper Blick.

“But if something happened, I would say that it was very insignificant,” he smiled.

Before the 18-inch debut, Pirelli has tweaked the design of the current 13-inch tires for 2021.

Carlos Sainz Jr. F1 drivers will find that with the lower sidewall tires they will lose some of the seat-of-the-pants feel for the car, resulting in the car breaking away suddenly with no time to recover.  But hey, the look pretty.  credit: © Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

When the drivers tried the 2021 tires late last season, many of them were heavily critical.

“This was a completely normal reaction,” Pirelli boss Mario Isola told Auto Motor und Sport.

“When drivers test new parts, they always hope for better performance. In this case, the focus was only on durability.”

Pirelli simulations reportedly show that the projected lap time deficit for the tires between 2020 to 2021 is between 4 and 5 tenths.

The tires are also more prone to understeer, but Isola insisted: “You can react to that with the setup.

“Once the teams have adjusted to the new tires, the difference won’t be that big anymore.”